NEWSLETTER
MARCH 2018
Why do builders care about the smart home?
 By: Mitchell Klein, Executive Director, Z-Wave Alliance
For the past five years, new residential construction rates have been rising. According to U.S. census data, 1.2 million new builds were finished and a little bit more than that were started. The average age of first-time home buyers has gone up too - in the U.S., the average age of a first-time home buyer is between 31 and 34. That also happens to be the age where people are growing their families, managing full-time jobs, and looking at how tech can make their lives easier. So it's no surprise that the builder community has started to see home technology as not just a luxury but also a necessity to include in their new construction projects.

Home buyers can be predictable and often follow trends - like when tearing down walls became fashionable, open floor plans were a highly desired element in a first floor living area. Granite countertops, en suite master bathrooms with walk-in closets, man caves - all trendy home elements that at one time or another have driven new construction decisions and designs for builders. Today, consumers might still want granite countertops and an open floor plan but they also might want to see what's inside the walls and ask that their first home be integrated with smart technology.

Smart home tech is finally mainstream thanks to Amazon's push with Alexa-powered Echo products and Google's big drive to catch up with Google Assistant and Nest. With smart speakers in one out of every three homes (and counting), homeowners aren't just going to be lured by smart homes and apartments, they are going to expect them. Besides the flashy and fun elements, smart home tech can also save energy (and therefore money) and can help to keep occupants safe and protected from disasters such as burglary, floods, and fires.

Smart home manufacturers and builders are catching on too - everywhere you look there are new partnerships and initiatives popping up. Whether it's new homes with smart thermostats or entire new home developments built around Amazon's voice assistant Alexa, home developers are clearly interested in making the next generation of new construction connected.

What are you doing to address the builder mindset, or to capture your piece of the builder market? We'd love to hear from you.

Speaking of building, the Z-Wave Alliance crew is heading to Light + Building on March 18th in Frankfurt, Germany to show off the latest innovations in building automation and lighting. More info is available in our events section below - we hope to see many of you there!
UPCOMING EVENTS


March 18 - March 23, 2018, Frankfurt, Germany
Z-Wave Pavilion - Booth #9.1 E46
Click Here for Free Attendee Pass

April 11- 13, 2018 Las Vegas, NV
Z-Wave Pavilion - Booth #30078
Click Here for Member Participation
Click Here for Free Attendee Pass

April 18-April 19, 2018, Boston, MA
Members receive 20% off registration with code: zwave

April 25 - April 27, 2018 Taipei, Taiwan
Z-Wave Pavilion
Click Here for member participation
Register here for the Z-Wave Academy Asia

Z-Wave Summit 2018 - Europe
May 3-4, 2018, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Members Click Here to Register

May 14 - May 17, 2018, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA
Members receive 15% off registration with code: ZWAVE15

June 11- June 12, 2018, London, UK
Members receive £200 off registration with code: 4919ZWAVE200

TECH SPOTLIGHT
New Construction and Z-Wave Smart Home Technology
 
According to Green Home Builder Magazine, 46 percent of consumers believe it is important that their current home or the next home they purchase be equipped with smart home technology. Recognizing this eagerness for smart home tech and energy-efficient homes, homebuilders have begun to incorporate systems into new construction, increasing the value of their properties and appeal of their homes. 
 
Here are a few Z-Wave members that are reshaping the industry and changing the way we look at smart home building and construction:
 
As a global leader in managed smart home, Control4's line of automation solutions are the choice of numerous builders including Design Tech Homes, Toll Brothers, LeBlanc Custom Homes, Primrose Homes and many more. Builders have the option to completely customize a home's individual automation features to fit the way each homeowner lives, enhancing the client's total experience. A Control4 system can be used to optimize functionality for the homeowner across lighting, security, entertainment and more, while also giving them the flexibility to add in additional products and devices after they are all moved in - all supported by a highly-trained dealer network of over 5,200 professionals.
 
 
Nexia's line of smart home solutions are available for new residential construction. The Nexia platform can be tailored to fit various kinds of configurations and controlled via the Nexia all-in-one which makes the homeowner experience simple after construction is complete. Nexia's systems begin at an affordable price point that makes smart home solutions possible for projects from condos to vacation homes. Builders also have the option of covering the cost of free trials or lifetime subscriptions to Nexia for their customers, and through Z-Wave the setup process is simple and straightforward.
 
 
Poland based manufacturer Vemmio develops customized smart home solutions for home and commercial builders. Their suite of devices offer homeowners the opportunity to easily control, monitor and manage their smart devices remotely, and systems can be designed to better serve the unique operational needs that smart buildings have.
 
 
Zipato helps builders stand out from competition by offering smart home technology that makes homes safer, more secure and more energy efficient. With certified and trained installers, highly-trained support staff and timely installations, Zipato's smart home systems help builders generate additional revenue by boosting property value. The price of Zipato's Z-Wave systems offers builders a solution for smart homes at a reasonable entry price.  
CONSUMER CORNER
The Rise of Google in the Smart Home: 
What you Need to Know and Why It Matters for Consumers

By: Lisa Chesters, Z-Wave Marketing Manager, Sigma Designs

At this year's CES in January, the Google Assistant was everywhere - from signage at the airport to huge digital banners down the Las Vegas strip, one thing was certain: Google has really stepped up their game in their campaign to dominate the voice control market. With hundreds of new partner integrations (including some from the Z-Wave ecosystem) announced at the show, many industry experts and journalists predicted this to be Google's response to the massive Amazon showing at 2017's CES.

In 2017, the Alliance announced that Z-Wave will natively support the Google Assistant. With new product and partner integrations growing, the options for smart home owners to use voice control have been expanded - offering more choices and new paths into smart home adoption for those currently without devices in their home or without a succinct, interoperable system.

There are lots of ways users can leverage the Google Assistant in their Z-Wave home setup. Many Z-Wave enabled hubs work with the Google Assistant like SmartThings, Wink, Vivint, Alarm.com, HomeSeer and Logitech Harmony, so those with these existing devices can simply add a Google Home product, download the app, and get started. The Google Assistant also works with many Z-Wave devices like lighting, switches and security. The August Smart Lock Pro +, for example, allows users to connect their security systems and smart locks to Google Home so they can then arm and disarm their system and check their alarm status through voice control. Baking in the kitchen and the oven has made the room unbearably hot? Ask Google to turn up the AC via a smart thermostat like the Honeywell Z-Wave Enabled Programmable Thermostat.

Smart speakers and voice control have become mainstream and are helping shape the way we bring new users into the smart home. Leveraging Google Home and Amazon Echo compatibility with Z-Wave products is a great way to drive interest and awareness of your brand as an Alliance member.

Current functionality on Z-Wave.com makes it easy to dial down hub searches to manufacturers that are compatible with Google, but we're excited to share that we're currently working on a brand-new landing page and complete resource guide for consumers interested in Google Home. It will include the basics on the Google Assistant and Google Home products, where Z-Wave fits in, interactive guides with options to purchase compatible products, and information on ways to use smart voice control in the home.
We'll be announcing that later this year, so keep an eye on the Consumer Corner column in upcoming newsletters and Z-Wave.com for more information.



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MARKETING MATTERS
Impacted by the Recent Social Media Bot Purges? 
Tips For Creating an Engaged Follower Base
If you've noticed sudden drops in your follower counts on Twitter and other social media platforms lately, you're not alone. Beginning at the end of January this year, many Twitter users noticed that their follower numbers had changed drastically with some users seeing drops as high as several thousand. Twitter made minimal comments on the drops but did recently announce this month that they were instituting a new set of guidelines that are aimed to stop the creation of bot accounts like prohibiting mass tweets, likes and follows across Twitter and other third-party platforms. The mass deletion of spam and bot accounts is not new, and isn't unique to Twitter - in 2014 Instagram also purged inactive and spam accounts, causing many influencers, brands and other high-profile users to panic. In a world where social media controls so much of the way consumers receive information and awareness about products, how can you as a manufacturer or integrator cultivate a follower base of engaged and legitimate users? Here are a few tips:

Engage with your audience
The key to having a successful social media presence is more than just posting regularly, though that is important. Creating real conversations with your followers is incredibly important to establishing relationships that result in purchasing decisions, brand commitment, and ultimately, new followers that hear about your company through the conversations they see you in on social. Be sure to use hashtags relevant to your business in your posts - #smarthome, #connectedhome, #smarttech - are a few popular ones in our industry. In addition to using these hashtags, follow them and jump into conversations that you are knowledgeable about or know that your brand is a fit for. For example, a user could ask for suggestions on which smart light bulb to purchase. You could then respond and say something like, "We have a few options you can choose from - check them out on our website."

Create dynamic visual content
If you're trying to create content that users want to engage with on social media, you have to evolve with the way they're using social platforms. Including an image with every post is now standard, and video is even better. Short videos about your products or projects you've been involved in, especially in the smart home world, help educate and give potential customers a way to visualize their homes with smart tech - an important part of driving adoption in the industry as a whole.

Follow those you'd like to follow you
If you're just sitting back, hoping that you get real followers, you're not going to have much luck building a base of engaged users. Make sure that you're spending time on hashtags like the ones we mentioned above looking for qualified, active, and engaged users who are spending time talking about the topics that matter to you and your business. It's one of the best ways to build organic awareness of your brand and begin to build a strong following on social media.

Want more tips on social media and marketing for your business? Be sure to follow the Marketing Matters column, every month for new information and tips.
Z-WAVE ON THE ROAD
Z-Wave on the Road - Light + Building 2018 

By: Kendall Burke, Caster Communications

On March 18th, the Z-Wave Alliance is headed to Frankfurt, Germany for the Light + Building trade fair. The show features the latest in lighting and building services technology and introduces the newest lighting, electrical engineering and home and building automation products to the European market. Occurring every two years, Light + Building takes place from Sunday, March 18th through Friday, March 23rd and will be the first time the Z-Wave Alliance Pavilion will be on display at the show. More than 2,600 exhibitors are expected to be present and over 200,000 visitors are expected to attend.  

The Z-Wave Alliance Pavilion is located in Hall 9.1, E46. Exhibiting members include:
  • CBCC/Swiid
  • Contec
  • CTS/SiMPNiC
  • Fifthplay
  • Hank Electronics
  • MCOHome
  • Popp
  • Sorel
Learn more about what to expect from our members at Light +Building: 
  • CBCC/Swiid - Founded in 2013, French start-up CBCC will be presenting their Swiid Z-Wave home automation collection. Swiid products are easy to use, uniquely designed and include innovative functions.
  • Contec - Smart home solution manufacturer, Contec, will display their simple and attractive suite of Z-Wave plus switches.
  • CTS/SiMPNiC - CTS/SiMPNiC will be exhibiting their CTS-iCPE series box. The gateway provides secure communication on the Z-Wave network, analyzes network health, identifies potential problems and also includes Eco solutions and individual metering for the commercial market.
  • Fifthplay - A Belgian tech leader specializing in enriching smart homes and buildings, Fifthplay will demonstrate their IoT platform consisting of an online platform and gateway, as well as their other lighting and building product solutions. 
     
  • Hank Electronics - Internationally-renowned manufacturer, Hank Electronics, will showcase their numerous smart home products including Z-Wave compatible sensors, smart plugs, bulbs, sirens and more.
  • MCOHome - Committed to the development of the IoT market, manufacturer MCOHome will feature their home automation product lines including power switches, thermostats, air quality monitors and customized hardware.
  • Popp - A pioneer of Z-Wave technology in Europe, Popp will display their high quality and interoperable smart home solutions and devices. 
  • Sorel - Sorel will be exhibiting their °CALEON Z-Wave Smart Thermostat. Elegantly designed, the °CALEON features a capacitive TFT touch panel for comfortable remote control and optimized heating and cooling comfort.
     

Interested in seeing our members and attending the show? Click here for a free attendee pass.

If you're interested in getting involved with Z-Wave Alliance trade show opportunities, including the upcoming ISC West and SMAHome Taipei 2018 shows, visit our member event calendar or contact Janet Collins at janet@z-wavealliance.com

To get the most of your membership PR benefits, check out our PR toolkit here and email us anytime at zwave@castercomm.com to provide news, ask questions or to submit content.

INDUSTRY TRENDS
Trends in Lighting and Building Automation
Later this month, the Z-Wave Pavilion will travel to the Light + Building show in Frankfurt, Germany where members will share new products and work being done in the smart lighting and building automation space. Smart lighting has been a strong entry point for consumers into the automation market in Europe, and trends from analysts and other research groups expect this to continue to expand into the U.S. market as smart home gains traction with consumers.

One of the leading benefits to smart lighting is its ability to potentially save on energy costs and help homeowners and commercial building owners better manage energy expenditures. The switch of traditional lighting to LED ties in with this transition, as greater penetration rates of LED products also drive the market for automated lighting because of the close ties they have in product compatibility. Not all smart lighting products are LED or support LED, but a large portion of them do, which impacts growth.

A February 2018 report from ReportsnReports predicts that the global smart lighting market is forecast to reach $20.98 billion in revenue by 2023 from $7.93 billion in 2018, at a CAGR of 21.50% during the five-year span. This is a huge jump and says a lot about the viability of smart lighting and its impact on the future of smart home and building adoption. And it's a far cry from the analyst models of the past - in 2013, Navigant Research reported revenue of $2.7 billion for LED lighting, including smart lights, in commercial settings - which means that the projected growth is exceeding expectations.

Smart buildings have also seen some growth and traction - some stats place the global smart building market at $36 billion by 2020. There are many factors impacting this growth, including a push for energy efficient and green operations standards in buildings, as well as the increase in the purchasing of smart gateways/hubs - ABI Research forecasted in 2016 that the IoT gateway shipments would exceed 64 million units on 2021, which these purchases extending beyond the home and into the mobility, transportation, industrial and infrastructure sectors. More gateways mean more devices on the network, adding to the growth of the IoT and commercial use-cases of smart and automated technology.
As the smart lighting and building markets grow and evolve, there will continue to be new opportunities for manufacturers, integrators, and other key players to become involved what these markets look like in the future. 

The Z-Wave Alliance will host the Z-Wave Pavilion at Light + Building later this month in Germany - if you're attending the show, come visit members to see new Z-Wave devices and innovations in Booth #9.1 E46.

 
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